Thursday, September 08, 2005


Forbidden Stupidity

Warning, the next link in this article is to graphic images of deceased and human suffering and is not for the weak of stomach or conscience. To prevent accidental clickage, I have munged the URL. Trust me, you don't need to see it and I only list the address for accountability in my criticism.

New Orleans Indymedia has upped the ante of wackiness with this posting: FEMA Forbids You to View These Images.

The images in question are of the bodies of victims of Hurricane Katrina. The captions to each, read as follows:
FEMA does not want Americans to see the evidence of their genocide against African Americans
FEMA is fascist.
murdered by FEMA
This is then followed by a request to add more snuff:
If there is an image of the dead no [sic] included here, please post it below.
Let's get something straight, whilst the FEMA response was questionable, many of those depicted were obviously victims of the hurricane and flooding itself. How this constitutes "murder" is beyond me. Particularly noting from FEMA's own website:
Some things FEMA DOES NOT do:
  • Physically rescue people or serve as "first-responders" in a disaster – that is the responsibility of local and state police, fire and emergency personnel.

  • Building dams or levees or activating sand-bagging activities – generally the responsibility of local/state officials and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

  • Taking "charge" of recovery effort -- FEMA works jointly with state and local officials.

  • Running temporary shelters or disaster feeding stations – generally the responsibility of such organizations at the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army.

  • Making weather predictions, fly into hurricanes or predict when rivers will surpass flood stage – generally the responsibility of the National Weather Service.

  • Ordering evacuations of communities due to natural disaster – generally the responsibility of state and local officials.

  • Setting building standards or setting zoning regulations – generally the responsibility of local and state official, with suggestions from FEMA.

  • Calling out the National Guard – generally a state responsibility.

Why FEMA "forbids" anything as suggested by the article's title it is not explained, nor would any explanation possibly make sense. Considering however they were also called "fascists" suggests someone has spent too long writing placards for protests and probably inhaled some of the paint fumes at that time.

FEMA needs improvement and certainly deserves criticism. Whilst I disagree with the summary Bush-bashing that has happened, of which this is another symptom, I am not going to give them a free pass. The above however, is just stupid. This is intelligent debate. Obviously it's not on Indymedia.

Whilst many blogs and discussion boards are offering useful advice on where to stay, where to donate money etc. The bulk of New Orleans Indymedia content is continuing to argue this is strategic genocide or bickering over whether stealing TVs (versus food and essentials) counts as looting or liberation.

In fairness, the front page of New Orleans Indymedia seems to be doing good work. That's about where it ends. I wonder how long it will be before the 'usual suspects' work out New Orleans Indymedia editors are too snowed under to hide or delete everything? The whole model of "everything is published before it is reviewed" (instead of the other way around) will buckle again.

I seldom link to articles which are hidden, as this is unfair on the editors who have ostensibly done the right thing. This however is but a taste of things to come and honours the memory of Joe Vialls by suggesting proving the Hurricane was in fact ENMOD - Environmental Modification, or the use of environmental modification as a weapon. Comments in the FEMA post are also pointing to articles suggesting the Levees were actually detonated (just like they know the World Trade Centre was) as part of some covert US Government/Jewish land-grab operation (just like they know the World Trace Centre was).

I hope the looters managed to get some tinfoil as well... They're going to need it.

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